How to Contribute to Joomla! Documentation

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Joomla! Documentation is powered by MediaWiki. Its growth and success is dependent on individuals like you. Thank you for taking the first step towards contributing to the Joomla! Project. This page will show you how to get started and several ways of helping the documentation effort.

Getting Started![edit]

There are a few things you will need to do first.

Read the Wiki Policy[edit]

You need to review the Joomla! Docs Wiki policy before you start editing.

Create a User Account[edit]

To edit the Joomla! Documentation Wiki, you will need a user account. You may register for one here. Afterwards make sure to confirm your email address. Confirmation of your e-mail address will give you permission to edit any page except for a few that are protected.

Note: If you do not do any edit within 5 days following the creation of your account, your account will be automatically deleted for security reasons.

Create a User Page[edit]

After you have created an account, confirmed your email address and logged in, we recommend you take a few moments to create a User page. Creating a user page serves a few purposes:

  • It lets users find out more about you.
  • It lets you make some initial edits so that the Wiki spammer and abuse filter can see that you're not a fake user. Note that for your first few edits, don't include external links as that will be what is most likely to trigger the filters.

A quick cheat to start your user page:

  • On the user menu, go to your Username page (or use first menu item on far right dropdown)
  • Click the actions drop down button
  • Click Create
  • Add the code to editor {{subst:Newuser}}
  • Fill in summary (e.g. This is my new user page)
  • Click the Save button

Join the Documentation Communication Channels[edit]

Joomla's official communication tool is Mattermost. See this page for information on how to join the conversation and once you're in there, join the PD Documentation channel to join the discussion on Joomla! Documentation.

What Should I Do First?[edit]

There are several areas of documentation which always need attention. You can start by picking the one which is the most comfortable for you to work on or you may get more involved by working on several at a time. Once you have a Wiki account, you are free to work on any aspect of the documentation that takes your fancy. Even the simplest contributions such as spelling corrections and grammar fixes are a tremendous help!

  1. Help with documentation content.
  2. Maintenance Tasks.
  3. Join or start documentation project.
  4. Help with Help Screens.
  5. Page Translation Explained

Help Manage Our Content[edit]

  1. Editing, rewriting and reorganising pages. Check our Needs pages for areas needing immediate help. They are called Needs pages because they are in need of small tasks to complete them. Some of them are as simple as reviewing content or adding an image. Others require more content or improvements. Pick a few, give them a little love. This is a tremendous help to Joomla! users who rely on our documentation.
  2. Have some fun and browse for articles which are redundant, out of version (i.e. 1.0 and 1.5), or need to be split up because of version specific information. Then feel free to make use of the {{delete}}, {{merge}} or {{JSplit}} templates on the articles. Click the previous template links to see how to use and apply them to articles you think need these marker templates. Add them to the very top of a page and the page is marked.
  3. Create a new page or tutorial. If you want to start a new page, do some extensive research first. Don't to create a new article if one already exists. Use the search feature of the Docs Wiki to see if your topic is already in an article. Duplication will be merged and/or deleted. Don't be afraid to modify, reformat or improve someone else's work on the Joomla! Docs Wiki! This is a collaborative documentation Wiki. Just make sure you are following our policy and guidelines.
    1. Using Wikilinks. It's very easy to link pages using a standard syntax. If you create a link to an article that doesn't exist yet, the link will be colored red. Clicking a red link will take you to the edit page for the new article. Simply type your text, click save and the new page will be created. Once the page has been created, the link will change from red to blue indicating that the article now exists.
    2. Using the URL. To use when you want to create a page from scratch. You can use the Wiki's URL for creating a new page. The URL to an article of the Wiki is usually something like this: https://docs.joomla.org/YOURTITLE. If you replace YOURTITLE with the name of the page you wish to create, you will be taken to a blank page which indicates that no article of that name exists yet. Clicking the Create this page link will take you to the edit page for that article, where you can create the new page by typing your text, and clicking Submit.
  4. Help update images in articles. Check the category Needs image updating for a list of pages which need their images updated. Our suggested guidelines to help you are found in the article, Image naming guidelines.

Wiki Maintenance[edit]

Maintaining a Wiki and keeping it organised takes a lot of continuous work on the part of administrators, editors and users. There are always tasks needing attention such as: Categorisation, attending to pages with needs, that are under construction, or by marking pages for deletion, merging or splitting. For all maintenance tasks and ideas of how you can help, please visit our Documentation Maintenance page.

Documentation Projects[edit]

  • The Docs team is working on Beginner Tutorials. Our goal is to make them easy to understand and navigate, something a Beginner can follow easily and learn basic concepts. Think back to when you were new to Joomla! and add a topic about something you struggled with as a beginner to the page. Better yet, join the Beginner Tutorials Project.
  • Join the Developer Tutorials Project and share your knowledge. Sign your name using 4 tildes ( ~~~~ ) on the Developer Tutorials Project page and list what you might be able to do. Feel free to add some tutorial topics to the suggested topics list.

Help Screens[edit]

Unknown to many, all Help Screen pages are created and served to every Joomla! installation worldwide from this Wiki! They are necessary for beginners and even those with intermediate knowledge of Joomla!

The Joomla! 4.x Help Screens need to be reviewed and updated. Any contribution you give to them will be appreciated by many users worldwide and we're looking for volunteers to help with this important task. A matrix needs to be put in place as well as an action plan.

Things to Remember[edit]

Here are a few things to remember as a Joomla! Docs contributor.

  • Don't be afraid to break a page, if you do and something has gone really wrong, revert your edit. Click the page's History tab and you will see links to undo and revert.
  • Write articles with a sense they will be translated to another language. Using slang or local dialect may not translate to another language or its inferences be understood. Find out more about Translating Joomla Documentation.
  • Don't be afraid to download and read the general Joomla! en-GB User Interface Text Guidelines that applies to all Joomla! Documentation. There are helpful hints on how to write for Joomla! Documentation.
  • Words to watch when writing for instant feedback use Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox browsers. They both have built-in spell checking which underlines a misspelled word.
  • Don't forget to add the {{inuse}} template to an article you are going to be working on it for a long period of time, more than a minute. It helps to prevent editing conflicts.

Help, I Don't Know Wiki Markup![edit]

If you are new to the use of Wikis and the simple markup to create pages, then use the following for help.

  • New WikiEditor contains buttons and quick links to make building pages easier. Click the word Advanced for a drop down of more buttons and quick formatting links.
  • Use the JDOC's Wiki Cheatsheet to learn the basic syntax commands. There is also a drop down of the common markup in the editor. Just click the word Help once and it will appear.
  • Still afraid? Try these tools to help you create great Wiki pages.
  • Microsoft Word Add-on for Wiki Markup, save Word Docs in Wiki Markup.
  • OpenOffice.org versions 2.4 and later have a MediaWiki export filter built in. Just open a Writer document and click File - Export. Then, change File format to MediaWiki.
  • Here is a list of tools available to convert other formats to Wiki markup, e.g. HTML, Excel, CSV. Some of them are online converters, cut and paste HTML for an output in Wiki markup.
  • Get help on Mattermost (We have a lot of channels there. E.g. one for the JDocs Translation Group and one for the JDocs Working group).
  • Post a question on an administrator's or editor's talk page.